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70                                       VERDICT  ON IXDIA
Hinduism are only two wars of saying the same thing, if there is
really nothing much to choose between them... well, there we
are! God, Hindu or Christian* is in His Heaven—(Universal
Variety)—and all's right with the let us not worry
about these awkward questions, but all go in to have lunch at Ye
Mystic Vegetarian Taverne. run by that charming old theosophist
lady who gives such wonderful lectures about Gandhi's resem-
blance to Christ.
However, there are some people who are not prepared to keep
their eyes shut, and it is for them that I am writing. And even
these will not be required to open their eyes very wide. One
would have thought that two simple symbols would have been
enough to raise somewhat serious doubts in the min,ds of those
who prattle about the 'Universality* of religion.
Let us consider these two symbols.
The symbol of Christianity is the figure of our Lord on the cross
—the figure of a perfect Man, who, even if we deny him divinity,
has given the world its most beautiful legeud and its most exalted
code of conduct.
The symbol of Hinduism—or rather, one of the most widely
revered of its many symbols—is the figure of Ganesh, half man
and half elephant.
Let us have a 'close-up' of Ganesh.
I shall never forget my first visit to a Ganesh temple. It was
in Bangalore. We drove to a sacred hill at twilight. The Indian
twilight ,*s an eerie thing—the last rays of the sun have a theatrical
quality, like spotlights slanting dramatically from a, gigantic
lamp, while swiftly the draperies of the dusk are drawn across
the sky. The sun shone on a tiny building of crumbling brick,
and inside this building the monster squatted, awaiting us* He
was carved from a single hulk" of black, shining stone, and his
trunk and his misshapen limbs were contorted like angry ser-
pents. The forgotten sculptor who had evoked this creature from
the rock, so many centuries ago, was a genius, but he was—I
felt—an evil genius, a man possessed. For this Ganesh was
imbued with a malevolent life ; in the fading light his limbs seemed
to twitch, as though impelled by ancient lusts* He would escape
if he wanted; a flick of that sinuous trunk, a gesture of those